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Inspiration [Question]

Culturally responsive teaching

Started on Sep 15, 2012 by Jenncook678
Last post on Oct 22, 2012

My school is not culturally diverse whatsoever, I want to do a better job introducing culture into the classroom. Any ideas?

1 Keeps, 0 Likes, 16 Comments

  • Jenncook678 09/15/2012 at 07:36am
    I just read NAEA's current art journal on Culturally responsive teaching and it really got me thinking. The lessons that the teachers used in the magazines were a little beyond the reach of my small town.

    Nevertheless, I want to do a better job incorporating a more diverse base of artists. The "masters" are typically a bunch of old white guys. I want to broaden their view of art and artists.

    Suggestions? If you have any lessons, add them to the exchange and post a link on here.

  • jfrisco 09/15/2012 at 11:57am
    Hi Jenncook678. Very interesting topic here. I'm not sure if there is an Art Educator that can claim to have this issue conquered. I will post my attempt to integrate world culture. It is NOT perfect. There is so much to cover and so LITTLE time. The important thing is that we get these students thinking globally. I am interested in other educators' response to this topic. See my resources for my attempts to be culturally responsible...

  • Jenncook678 09/15/2012 at 12:49pm
    Thanks jfrisco! Im going to take a look right now. I think the art room is the perfect place for kids to learn about culture, I can't wait to hear the responses too!

  • ArtsoniaTiffany 09/17/2012 at 07:06am
    Hello - I just wanted to mention that Artsonia has school galleries representing more than 130 countries around the globe ( A great way to connect your students with other cultures is to start by showing them what their peers around the globe are creating. They can connect on a very basic "art" level and perhaps that will spark a curiosity to learn more about the country, the people or inspirational artists/styles that are not as commonly known or recognized. Just a thought! Best of luck to you both!

  • Jenncook678 09/17/2012 at 08:02am
    Thanks ArtsoniaTiffany! I love your website and I use it all the time, I just never thought to use it in that context, I'm going to go take a look at my saved lessons through a new lens now.

  • rlaurenzi 09/18/2012 at 04:22pm
    One suggestion that works for me and my students: When introducing a lesson, show examples from a variety of cultures. For example I was teaching a mandala lesson, thinking about the ones from Tibet. I googled mandala to get some images to show the class, and found that mandala designs have actually been made by people from many cultures, over a long historical period. They differed in appearance, function, and meaning. So the kids got to learn a little about each culture before they made their own mandalas.

  • Jenncook678 09/19/2012 at 02:59am
    That's so strange..... I taught mandalas yesterday!!!! Thanks! :)

  • RuthByrne 09/19/2012 at 06:42am
    I love doing mandalas with the kids too! The internet is full of great cultural art images, I like to include images of the people who make the art, preferably while they are making it.

    What follows is a super unfocused rumination on pieces of culturally responsive curriculum.

    A few years ago our school did an 'around the world' theme. I picked artwork from each continent to use as inspiration for projects. In discovering the artwork of another culture, we also examined the culture itself (in an elementary way). DK "kids around the world" books are great for elementary. I've learned a lot from them too.

    Art exchanges are also fun, I set one up with Singapore American School. I know there are services that hook you up with other schools across the globe, but I found that emailing 'American international school' art teachers was an easy inexpensive way to make a connection. There is a mix of native and foreign students, so you get some of the familiar and some of the different.

  • RuthByrne 09/19/2012 at 06:42am

    Even though world culture inspired art is great, I think one of the more valuable skills is to identify local (or future local) differences and celebrate them. What different cultures will a child meet when they go to college or visit a city? In my rural district, I love to challenge the kids to think about what life is like in different settings and to broaden their notion of urban living. Elementary lit like "Madlenka" (by Peter Sis, the illustrations are worthy of sharing with all grade levels) can help create the notions of community in different living situations. Architecture projects can bring focus to different environments and non traditional mapping can illuminate similarities and differences in social structures.

    Finally, my favorite "WOW" resource for vision/language/culture is this video about how language/cultural categories can effect what you see.

  • Jenncook678 09/19/2012 at 04:14pm
    Holy WOW! You just blew my mind with this resource. Thank you so much for sharing. This is definitely going to be included in the morning sketchbook activity tomorrow.

    Thank you, Ruth!

  • She_paints 09/25/2012 at 07:53pm

    This site is often on the classroom screen for students to view. It becomes one of the choices for the hour. My goal is to make a connection of Scientist (professional) and the arts. From my rural county school, this is a cultural leap into another world.

    I have used this at dinner gatherings at my home too.

  • AmyHall 09/26/2012 at 03:55pm
    thanks for sharing these resources!!! My school is not very diverse either and we are in the process of IB certification, so these are tremendously helpful!!

  • jfrisco 09/29/2012 at 07:45am
    I just watched the video RuthByrne... wow! So interesting!

  • RuthByrne 09/30/2012 at 07:39am
    Isn't it incredible? Art and science go so well together. And Brains are certainly a cross cultural attribute.
    Perceiving human beings as a single group is a great starting point to celebrating subgroups.